3

How do I say that something being a fair game in Russian?

UPDATE
Fair game wasn't meant to be read literally like честная игра. What it means is something that is allowed to be hunted for by the rules: If you got your purse stolen from an unlocked car the police won't do anything, it's a fair game.

UPDATE
The origin of the phrase has much to do with the hunting regulations, the game (animals/wildfowl) can either be banned or allowed to hunt for. The allowed game is simply a fair game.

UPDATE
Few more examples

  • But for a small subset of women, sexist jokes against men are a fair game.
  • To the woman looking for a mate, he is a fair game even if he is married.
  • Threesomes, positions, cheating, tips on how to stay hard, cunnilingus and whatever was troubling or confusing, anything was a fair game.
  • 1
    please provide a few sample sentences. How an idiom is rendered into another language depends on the environment a lot. – Shady_arc Dec 28 '14 at 19:00
  • In your particular example you can say that a person «сам напросился» or «сам виноват» (it is 'their fault'). Won't work when the sentence is not about acting stupid. – Shady_arc Dec 28 '14 at 19:07
  • 1
    Ok, russian idioms сам дурак or сам себе злобный Буратино can be used for such things (it's equivalent for сам виноват mentioned in previous comments). E.g. for your example with purse: Если ты оставил бумажник в незапертой машине - сам дурак. – Sergey Dec 28 '14 at 19:56
  • 1
    If you are interested in ‘fair game’ from the point of view of criminal, in the Russian language of street muggers (гопники), swindlers, etc the person who is the fair aim of an attack, a ‘natural victim’, is called a лох. To behave as a лох is лохануться (perfective, no imperfective form). – Dmitry Alexandrov Dec 28 '14 at 20:24
1

A close, but much less idiomatic and versatile, translation would be законная добыча. Here's an example from a website collecting translations of foreign news and analysis:

Мы как бы говорим русским: если страна не состоит в НАТО, она законная добыча. Это опасный сигнал.

Original:

You’re telling Russians that if you’re not a NATO member, you’re fair game. That’s a dangerous signal.

| improve this answer | |
1

I don't think there's an idiom in Russian with the exact same meaning and usage, but there are several you can use in different contexts. Nikolay Ershov's "законная добыча" is a good one, but it's ruder that "fair game" and not as widely used, also it's possessive ("fair game" is for everyone, and "законная добыча" implies an owner). "Сам виноват" is another not-so-polite expression, but a lot more common. It puts blame directly on the "game".

Generally, Russian is less "hunter-oriented" (or "carnivorous"), so I'd advise to rephrase what you want to say instead of searching for an expression that just doesn't exist. Or even if it does, it's either borrowed from English, is from criminal slang, or is generally out of use.

| improve this answer | |
1

The word «Дозволено» has a very similar meaning, except it's somewhat of a higher register and doesn't have that idiomatic ring to it. But I think that it fits well in all of the examples you've provided.

| improve this answer | |
1

in colloquial Russian, comparable idioms would come from criminal lingo rather than from hunting. Thus the focus on the victim that is meaningless in hunting: "Сам виноват"; "сам напросился"; "лох" etc. There is also "все честно / все законно / все по закону", e.g., in your example, "если бумажник украли из незапертой машины, то тут все честно"

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The phrase "если бумажник украли из незапертой машины, то тут все честно" doesn't make sense. – Jacob Seleznev Jan 6 '15 at 2:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.